Self-affirmation promotes physical activity

Cooke, Richard; Trebaczyk, Helena; Harris, Peter and Wright, Alison J. Self-affirmation promotes physical activity. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 36 (2), pp. 217-223.

Abstract

The present study tests whether a self-affirmation intervention (i.e., requiring an individual to focus on a valued aspect of their self-concept, such as honesty) can increase physical activity and change theory of planned behavior (TPB) variables linked to physical activity. Eighty young people completed a longitudinal intervention study. Baseline physical activity was assessed using the Godin Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire (LTPAQ). Next, participants were randomly allocated to either a self-affirmation or a nonaffirmation condition. Participants then read information about physical activity and health, and completed measures of TPB variables. One week later, participants again completed LTPAQ and TPB items. At follow up, self-affirmed participants reported significantly more physical activity, more positive attitudes toward physical activity, and higher intentions to be physically active compared with nonaffirmed participants. Neither attitudes nor intentions mediated the effects of self-affirmation on physical activity. Self-affirmation can increase levels of physical activity and TPB variables. Self-affirmation interventions have the potential to become relatively simple methods for increasing physical activity levels. © 2014 Human Kinetics, Inc.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2013-0041
Divisions: Life & Health Sciences
Life & Health Sciences > Health Sciences
Life & Health Sciences > Psychology
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Additional Information: © Human Kinetics. Version as accepted for publication
Uncontrolled Keywords: attitude,health behavior,intention,physical activity,self-affirmation,Applied Psychology,Medicine(all)

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